If you think hotels are the only companies that hire concierges, think again. This is Jaime Kensinger, the newest person to fill the role at Driscoll Boat Works. Similar to a hotel concierge’s duties, Kensinger’s job involves helping visiting megayacht crew get acquainted with both the yard and the San Diego area when their boats are in for service. Want to know the best place to kick back and relax? Need a place to rest your head? Kensinger’s the go-to gal.
Even though she started at Driscoll shortly before Christmas, Kensinger, who can be reached at [email protected], is already off to a strong start. She hired a New York-style hot dog cart and a magician to entertain the yard’s staff at its holiday party, and as you’ll find out in this Q&A, she’s helped a few crews settle into town.
Q: What drew you to the concierge position at Driscoll?
A: I’ve always lived near the ocean, first in Santa Cruz, CA and then San Diego for college at San Diego State University. After college I moved to Las Vegas, where I worked as General Manager of a boutique exotic and luxury car rental firm. I decided to move back to San Diego because I missed the ocean, my friends and the culture of America’s Finest City. Back in Vegas, I had had my hand in everything involving the company; from designing marketing materials to handling concierge matters for our clients. When I learned of the opening at Driscoll Boat Works, I knew it was perfect for me. I was additionally wooed when I found out that it was a 3rd-generation, family-run company in a great neighborhood. My gorgeous view of America’s Cup Harbor doesn’t hurt, either.
Q: Are you the first “point person” for all the crews–in other words, the person they would go to for information about the boatyard in general, if they’re considering bringing the boat in for service, as well as what they can do in town?
A: Though I grew up near the ocean, I’m new to the yachting world, so I wouldn’t be much help in regards to questions about boat servicing–though I’m learning. Luckily, there are always three salespeople at my office that have all been in the boat business for over 30 years: Chuck Driscoll, Neil Wilson, and Bill Campbell. However, I would be the person for crews to come to learn about things to go to and see in town. After living in San Diego for six years, I feel I have a strong knowledge of the city and its unique neighborhoods. I can tell people about the best places in San Diego, from provisioning to golf courses to happy hours–not just what Frommer’s writes.
Q: What boat crews have you worked with so far?
A: In my short time at Driscoll’s, I have already worked with the crews of Anicca, Attessa, Triton, Katrion, Sovereign, Symmetry, SloJo, Paraffin, Altair, and Sol Pursuit.
Q: I understand you already pulled together a fun holiday party at Driscoll. Are theme parties something you’d like to do with crews?
A: Driscoll has a long tradition of sharing celebrations with our visiting crews. I plan to continue on these traditions, which include the Pumpkin Toss, Christmas parties, summer BBQs and luaus, and other festivities. Though they might not all be themed, I think throwing these parties are a great way for different crews to interact and enjoy their time in San Diego.
Q: Does Driscoll have on-site housing for crew? If not, how do you help them find housing?
A: Driscoll Boat Works does not have on-site housing. However, the surrounding community has plenty of short-term housing at resorts such as Humphrey’s by the Bay and Island Palms Hotel. For those who plan to stay longer, I have developed a list of long-term furnished housing throughout San Diego County.
Q: What’s the largest-size yacht Driscoll can accommodate?
A: Our haul-out capacity is about 150 Tons, 26′ wide, and 120′ long. However, if the boat does not need to be hauled out, we can accommodate yachts up to 250′.
Q: What yachts are presently at the yard for service?
A: Most of our big boats (many of which I mentioned above) have recently left for more southern areas. We have Katrion in our yard and expect several more super- and megayachts shortly.